Genetic monandry in 6 viviparous species of true sea snakes

Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi, and Avise, John C. (2011) Genetic monandry in 6 viviparous species of true sea snakes. Journal of Heredity, 102 (3). pp. 347-351.

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Abstract

Using a suite of 10 highly variable microsatelite loci, we conducted genetic paternity analyses for 76 embryos in the broods of 12 pregnant females representing 6 viviparous species of true sea snakes (Hydrophis clade) in the family Elapidae. To our surprise, we uncovered no evidence for multiple paternity within any of the clutches despite the fact that the genetic markers showed high intraspecific heterozygosities and as many as 20 conspecific alleles per locus. This outcome stands in sharp contrast to the rather high (but also variable) frequency of multiple paternity previously reported in many other reptilian species. However, because our study appears to be the first assessment of genetic parentage for any sea snake species (and indeed for any member of the elapid clade), we can only speculate as to whether this apparent monandry by females is a broader phylogenetic characteristic of elapid snakes or whether it might relate somehow to the sea snakes' peculiar lifestyle that uniquely combines viviparity with a marine existence.

Item ID: 18378
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1465-7333
Keywords: Elapidae; genetic parentage; Hydrophiinae; mating systems; microsatellite; multiple paternity
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2011 22:29
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060308 Life Histories @ 70%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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